Denver Defeats South Dakota in Straight Sets
Pioneers capture their second sweep of the weekend
Oct. 15, 2017
DENVER— For the second match in a row, the University of Denver women’s volleyball team won in straight sets, after defeating South Dakota 25-14, 25-17, 25-21 on Sunday afternoon at Hamilton Gymnasium.
The Pioneer victory snapped South Dakota’s four-match win streak, and the Crimson and Gold improved to 14-5 on the season and 5-2 in the Summit League. The Coyotes fell to 11-8 and 5-2 in league play with the loss. Denver never trailed in the match.
Becca Latham paced the Pioneers with 14 kills and hitting .636 in the match. Ellie Anderson had a career and team-high 25 assists in her second start. Cassidy Rooke had 18 digs on the afternoon to lead the team, and Emma Willis had five assisted blocks to lead DU in the category. Piyusha Boteju had a career-high three service aces, while adding another double-double to her season after recording 11 digs and 10 assists. Boteju has a team-high seven double-doubles thus far.
As a team, Denver hit .289 in the match, with 48 kills, 44 assists, 63 digs, eight total team blocks and six service aces.
“Becca Latham hit .636 on 22 attempts and our middles (Tina Boe and Willis) both attacked at .500 on 24 total attempts. On the defensive side, we had a great game plan coming into the match, and our players did a fantastic job of executing that strategy.
“Overall, we are continuing to grow and improve,” Hogan continued. “The exciting thing is that our entire program knows that our best volleyball is still yet to come. We look forward to getting back into the gym next week and focusing on the process as we head into the second half of league play.”
Set Two: Denver had another quick start to the set, scoring first six points of the set behind an Anderson service ace, Latham/ Willis block and two kills apiece from Baird and Latham. DU was up 12-4 before South Dakota went on a 3-0 run to cut the lead to 12-7. They would get as close as 13-9 before Denver went on an 8-0 run to push the lead to 11 at 20-9. A Teal Schnurr kill gave Denver set point at 24-12, but South Dakota fought off set point five times, causing a Denver timeout at 24-17. Boe closed the set on the first point out of the timeout with a kill, helping the Pioneers win the set by the score of 25-17. Denver hit .333 behind 17 more kills (17-4-39). Latham had five kills in the frame, with Baird adding six digs and Anderson assisting on 10 points. Baird had a total of 16 digs in the match, tying a career-high. Latham and Willis had an assisted block, the only one in the set for Denver, and Anderson and Boteju each had two service aces, with Boteju scoring back-to-back aces.
Set Three: The final set contained four ties, but like sets one and two, Denver never relinquished the lead. USD tied the set at three, but DU went on a 5-0 run to go ahead 8-3 due to three Coyote errors and a kill each from Principato and Willis. Denver led 15-10 at the media timeout, but South Dakota went on a 6-1 run out of the break to tie the set at 16. From there, it went back-and-forth, with ties at 17 and 18, before the Pioneers put together consecutive points to gain the 20-18 advantage. USD cut it to one at 20-19 and later at 22-21, but each time, Denver was able to build the lead back up. Latham and Willis put away the set and the match with a 3-0 run of their own, each producing one kill and combining for a block en route to the 25-21 set win. Denver cooled off to hit .170 in the final set (14-6-47), but held South Dakota to a .080 hitting percentage (12-8-50). Willis and Latham powered the Pioneers in the third set, registering four kills apiece and teaming up for two blocks. Willis also combined on a block with Baird for her third block of the set. Anderson closed the match with six more assists, and Boteju recorded 10 digs.
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